How to use a neti pot: 15 steps (with pictures)

How to use a neti pot: 15 steps (with pictures)
How to use a neti pot: 15 steps (with pictures)

A neti pot is a utensil used for nasal irrigation, which involves rinsing the inside of the nasal cavity with saline solution. It is a home remedy that is relatively unknown in the West, but widespread in parts of India and southern Asia. You can use a neti pot to rinse mucus, bacteria, and allergens from your sinuses, but it's important to follow proper cleansing technique and use sterilized, distilled, or boiled water.


Part 1 of 3: clean the neti pot

Use a Neti Pot Step 1

Step 1. Read the instructions for use and cleaning

Before using your neti pot, read the instructions that came with the utensil on how you should clean it. For most of them, just use soap and lukewarm water, but check anyway to find out what's recommended for yours.


most neti pots are not dishwasher safe, so you shouldn't put your own in unless the instructions tell you to.

Use a Neti Pot Step 2

Step 2. Wash the neti pot with dish soap and hot water

Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the utensil and fill it with hot water. Swirl water in to clean all surfaces. Then empty the water with the washing-up liquid and rinse thoroughly.

Rinse six to seven times to make sure you've removed all residue

Use a Neti Pot Step 3

Step 3. Air dry or wipe with a clean paper towel

It should be completely dry before you use it the first time. Place the utensil upside down on a clean cloth or use a clean paper towel to dry the inside.

Do not wipe the inside with the cloth you use to wipe dishes. Also, do not leave it upright to dry it. It might fill with dust or get dirty if you let it dry in this position

Part 2 of 3: prepare a saline solution

Use a Neti Pot Step 4

Step 1. Wash your hands

Run your hands under lukewarm water. Then, pour a spoonful of dish soap into your hands or rub bar soap for a few seconds to lather it up. Rub the soap between your hands, between your fingers and around your fingernails. Then run your hands under lukewarm water to rinse off the soap. Dry them completely with a clean cloth or paper towel.

You should take about 20 seconds to wash your hands. To make sure you spend enough time there, sing the song “Happy Birthday” twice

Use a Neti Pot Step 5

Step 2. Measure one liter of sterilized water

To ensure that the water you use is safe, you should only use sterilized, distilled, or boiled water. Pour it into a glass container such as a jar or salad bowl.

You can buy this kind of product at the supermarket or at a pharmacy. Otherwise, you can boil water for five minutes. Then turn off the burner and let cool until it is at room temperature


do not use tap water without treating it, as it may contain bacteria or amoeba which will make you very sick if they get into your sinuses.

Use a Neti Pot Step 6

Step 3. Mix fine salt in the water

Choose sea salt or rock salt that does not contain iodine. Measure two tsp. to c. of salt and pour it into the container with the water.

  • Do not use table salt. The additives it contains can irritate your nose.
  • You can also buy saline solution if you don't want to make your own. Ask a pharmacy to find one specially designed for neti pots.
Use a Neti Pot Step 7

Step 4. Stir to dissolve the salt and let cool

Use a clean metal spoon to stir the salt into the water. Keep stirring until the salt is completely dissolved. Once the solution looks clear and is at room temperature, you can use it.

Put the lid on the container if you don't want to use it right away. However, be sure to use it within 24 hours. Throw away any solution you haven't used within this time, as it may contain bacteria

Part 3 of 3: rinse your nasal passages

Use a Neti Pot Step 8

Step 1. Fill the neti pot with saline solution

The first thing to do is to pour the saline solution into the neti pot. Pour it carefully to avoid getting it all over the place and to make sure it is not too hot to avoid burns.

Use a Neti Pot Step 9

Step 2. Lean over the sink and turn your head

Lean over the sink, keeping a 45-degree angle between your upper body and your bottom. Then turn your head to the side so that your ear is facing the bottom of the sink. Keep the forehead at the same height as the chin or slightly higher.

  • Don't turn your head so much that your chin is hanging over your shoulders.
  • Also, don't lean so much that your chin is lower than your forehead.
Use a Neti Pot Step 10

Step 3. Breathe through your mouth as you rinse your sinuses

You will not be able to breathe through your nose when you rinse your sinuses with the neti pot, which is why you need to breathe through your mouth first. Inhale several times to get used to it.

Refrain from talking or laughing to prevent water from going down your throat

Use a Neti Pot Step 11

Step 4. Pour half the water into one nostril

Press the spout of the neti pot against the inside of the upper nostril to block it. This will prevent water from coming out of the nostril. Raise the pot so that the water goes down into the upper nostril and out through the lower nostril. It might create a weird sensation, like when water gets into your nose while you are swimming. Empty half of the neti pot into the first nostril.

  • The solution should come out through the lower nostril and flow down the sink. If you get splashed with water, you have to duck lower into the sink.
  • If there is solution coming out of your mouth, you should tilt your forehead a little lower, making sure to keep it above your chin.
Use a Neti Pot Step 12

Step 5. Repeat on the other side

Take the neti pot out of your nostril once you have finished rinsing the first side. Then turn your head to the other side and repeat the same steps. Use the rest of the saline solution to rinse the second nostril.


even if you have the impression that one of the two nostrils is blocked, rinse on both sides. This will allow you to reap the full benefits of using a neti pot.

Use a Neti Pot Step 13

Step 6. Blow air through your nose to remove the water

Once you have emptied the neti pot, you can hold your head over the sink and blow gently through your nose without using your fingers to pinch it. This will allow you to get rid of the water and mucus that are left in your sinuses.

Continue until nothing comes out of your nose and you can breathe normally

Use a Neti Pot Step 14

Step 7. Blow your nose on a tissue

Once all of the liquid is flowing from your nostrils, blow your nose with a tissue as you normally would to remove all residue. Gently squeeze one of your nostrils as you blow your nose and repeat on the other side. Close one of your nostrils tightly as you do this.

Don't blow your nose too hard! Do it slowly, as you usually do

Use a Neti Pot Step 15

Step 8. Clean the neti pot after use

To prevent bacteria from growing in it, you must wash it before storing it. Use hot water and dish soap before letting it air dry like you did before.

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